Mr. Consistency

There might not be an easier player in baseball to project than Pedro Feliz. Always known for his glove more than his bat, Feliz has settled into a remarkably consistent pattern of offensive results.

2006: .709 OPS
2007: .708 OPS
2008: .705 OPS
2009: .706 OPS

That’s hard to do. Feliz’s skills have shifted around from year to year more than those numbers would suggest – he makes better contact than he used to, but his power has disappeared since May – but the overall effect has been about the same. As one pat of his game improves, something else declies in proportion, leaving him the same guy he was the year before. Literally.

One of the other interesting things about Feliz is his consistently low BABIP. This year, he’s running a .293 mark, around average for a normal player but 20 points above his career mark. His BABIPs the last four years – .273, .267, .259, and .258. In pretty much any given year, you could sort the leaderboard and find Feliz at the bottom.

Despie being a good defender, he’s not fast and he doesn’t hit the ball particularly hard. This combination conspires to rob him of hits on pitches most players would be able to capitalize on, which is one of the reasons that his offense usually ends up something less than the sum of his parts. A guy with his contact skills and gap power should be a better hitter, but Feliz has a pretty well established offensive track record by now.

His glove at third base is terrific and certainly justifies keeping him in the line-up on a regular basis. Just don’t expect different results when he’s batting – Feliz defines consistency at the plate.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

18 Responses to “Mr. Consistency”

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  1. DC says:

    I think the amazing thing is that his power decreased right after he left San Francisco for Philadelphia. I don’t think many people expected that to happen.

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  2. NEPP says:

    His back was injured most of last year so he lost a lot of power that way. This year, he changed his approach for the first 4 months and focused on contact, not power. He’s gone back to swinging for the fences lately and it looks like he’s wearing down again with Dobbs on the DL. I wouldn’t be surprised if his back his bothering him again.

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  3. Alireza says:

    Feliz started this year so well, but regressed to his usual MO. Too bad, because he could have maintained that pace had he kept the approach up.

    His glove is sick though, especially on bunts. Would be a hell of a thing to transport the early-80s version of Keith Hernandez to the same infield as Pedro Feliz.

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  4. mike says:

    I think even more amazing is that once adjusted and/or looking at over-all production (not a huge fan of OPS) his #s are still very, very consistent

    I’ll even include 2005

    OPS+ 85, 79, 81, 81, 83
    career: 84

    even better

    RC/G 3.9, 3.8, 3.9, 3.9, 4.4
    career: 4.0

    and maybe best of all
    EQA .245,.240, .244, .246, .251
    career: .245

    that is insane consistency. be curious to see, how much, if any he declines with age

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  5. Sky says:

    That means he’s the best hitter in the league, right? I keep hearing how important consistency is, so…

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    • Gary says:

      I can be the best hitter in the league too.
      I can consistently have a 100% SO ratio, no variation. (Well, unless Marmol’s pitching to me. Then I can’t guarantee I won’t draw a walk.)

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  6. Joe R says:

    Phils can afford one subpar offensive player who has a beast glove.

    BTW, I should try to see if I can get Joe Morgan to call him inconsistent next week now.

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  7. mike L. says:

    Do you even read what you write anymore, Dave? From one short paragrapg to the next you describe Feliz as being a “good defender” and then “his glove at third base to be terrific”. Which is it? For each description is vastly different.

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  8. fili says:

    At least he’s still got some time left this year to get that OPS up to 2006/2007 levels

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  9. Matt B. says:

    What a boring player!

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  10. ed says:

    Allegedly he’s “the same guy he was the year before. Literally.”

    So am I.

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  11. R M says:

    What I don’t get is why the Phillies haven’t made more of an effort to find a legitimate 3rd baseman. I’m sorry, but a consistent 1.5 WAR 3rd baseman doesn’t belong on a team that good….plus, with his defense coming back to earth, he stands to be even worse in the coming years.

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    • R M says:

      I’m not trying to say Feliz shouldn’t be starting somewhere, but for a team that has been in the world series 2 years in a row…he just doesn’t seem like a good fit.

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